Monday, September 10, 2007

and we're back

from vacation that is. a glorious week of vacationing at a cabin on a lake in Maine. absolutely wonderful. Almost didn't come back but managed at the last second to pull ourselves away. School started up last week which means I'm a week behind already but vacation was worth it. Among the other cool things we did like climb Mt. Washington and fish and kayak, we also did a lot of reading. I read, among other things, On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I would like to write a more stylized critique of this work in the future so i will hold off for right now and simply state that I enjoyed it. I would like to discuss Fiction and Literature for a moment. I was in use d book store in Bridgton, Maine and toward the back of the store there was a section of used books. On the right hand side there was a section of shelves labeled 'Fiction' and on the left hand side was a much smaller area, thrust in between the children's section and misc other writings was the section labeled 'Literature'. Why is this important you ask? glad you asked. This is important because the works in the 'Fiction' shelves were sci-fi and trade paper back thrillers such as Grisham, Steele and other writers I don't know. Now the 'Literature' section was a much more respectable, albeit smaller, section containing misc works of Shakespeare, a short story collection by Huxley, which we quickly appropriated, and various and sundry other works associated with the grand old title of 'Literature'. However the works in the 'Literature' section, according to Kermode, contain fictions which assist the author in dealing with the world or relationship to the world. Obviously all works of fiction use 'fictions' as vehicles for the story but what causes the separation from simply a work of 'Fiction' to that vaunted pedestal of 'Literature'? I'm not totally sure. Frankly most, if not all, of the works in the 'Fiction' section would be better off as recycled wood pulp for printing more 'Literature' books. But the fact that the 'Literature' section was approximately a quarter of the size of the 'Fiction' section and that 1 out of 4 Americans didn't read a book last year, according to the AP's poll.
Makes you wonder.

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